Microsoft is busy developing its next Windows operating system, Windows 10 which is currently in public beta testing and is likely to be released in the middle of 2015. The Windows 10 theme is unification and it will unify all Microsoft devices around a common kernel and will also provide integration with Microsoft’s services and platforms. For this, the company is rebuilding most of its software components including its browser, the Internet Explorer whose time is up anyway.

About three months back, Microsoft had announced Project Spartan, successor to the Internet Explorer, that has a totally new look and feel. Now Microsoft has announced at its BUILD 2015 event that Project Spartan will be known as Microsoft Edge. That’s right, Microsoft’s new web browser will now be Microsoft Edge and it will come as a default browser with Windows 10. The company says that Microsoft Edge will be available “on the widest range” of devices running Windows 10.

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One good thing about the new browser is that it is not just old IE with a new makeover. The new Microsoft Edge is totally new and different and is bound to provide tough competition to Google’s Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. Microsoft Edge preview shows that it has several unique features and functions which Microsoft surely hopes will click with the users and pay rich dividends.

Microsoft Edge has Cortana digital voice assistant and OneDrive integrated into it. It will also offer annotation tools allowing users to type, draw or write notes directly on a web page and then save or share it. There’s also the ‘reading mode’ that removes unnecessary formatting from pages and improves their readability.

Edge’s New Tab page is worth mentioning. It’s screen is filled with a number of shortcut tiles and widgets giving you info like latest news, weather or some apps you might like. On the top of the page you will see a list of sites you visit most.

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Microsoft Edge will also support Chrome and Firefox extensions. With just some minor modification in code, existing extensions can be brought to Edge. During the event, this feature was demonstrated successfully with extensions for Pintrest and Reddit.

The Edge will release with Windows 10 in mid-2015. Microsoft’s new browser sure seems to have some great features with a new UI and may prove to be a powerful alternative to Chrome and Firefox. However, only time will tell.

 

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